Forsythia, the Harbinger of Spring

March 28, 2016

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Welcome spring with the bright yellow blossoms of forsythia. Plant forsythias in full sun for the best flowering; although they will tolerate partial shade. They adapt to a wide range of soil conditions, including clay, but prefer well-drained soil. 

The showy flowers have a slight fragrance and the deer tend to leave these plants be. Forsythias are basically pest free and tolerate the toxic juglone contained in black walnut tree roots, leaves and nuts. Northern gardeners should select varieties that are flower bud hardy. Both the plant and flower buds will survive cold winter temperatures. So you’ll be enjoying flowers from the tip of the stem to ground level.

Minimize maintenance by selecting varieties that will fit in the available space. You will find compact varieties for smaller locations and larger ones that make great screens, tall hedges or backdrops for other plantings.

A bit more information:  Properly timed pruning is also critical to ensure spring bloom.  Forsythias set their flower buds the previous summer. So prune the plants right after flowering if you need to reduce their size or encourage new growth. Pruning at other times eliminates the flower buds and the spring bloom.

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